Mario Kart 7 logo and art confirm the 3DS game is numbered for the first time in series history

When we first heard about the titling of the 3DS’s biggest fall releases we were confused. The 3D Mario platformer being called Super Mario 3D Land has a certain strange logic to it, as Mario does exist in a 3D land, but Mario Kart 7 was a real head scratcher. No series release before had ever had a number, and seeing a “7” attached to any release these days is pretty rare. If you thought Nintendo made a mistake in its announcement, today’s logo and other assets for the upcoming kart racer should remove all doubt.

Planned for a December release, Nintendo likely sees Mario Kart 7 as its ace in the hole for 3DS Christmas domination, as Mario Kart DS and Wii were the consistently best-selling titles for years. In fact, conservative estimates put each of those games’ sales over 20 million. Mario Kart 7 could get a fraction of that success and Nintendo would probably be happy, but can the series attain such sales on Nintendo’s currently troubled handheld?

For those curious where the “7” comes from, here’s how Nintendo seems to be counting:

1. Super Mario Kart (SNES)
2. Mario Kart 64 (N64)
3. Mario Kart: Super Circuit (GBA)
4. Mario Kart: Double Dash (GC)
5. Mario Kart DS (DS)
6. Mario Kart Wii (Wii)

Again, notice how the majority of those include the system name in the title? Maybe Nintendo felt the 3DS brand isn’t currently strong enough to be included in this one’s title. Also, for franchise historians, it looks like Nintendo doesn’t count the two Namco-developed, arcade-only Mario Kart GP titles as official releases.

Aug 3, 2011

Henry Gilbert

Henry Gilbert is a former GamesRadar+ Editor, having spent seven years at the site helping to navigate our readers through the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. Henry is now following another passion of his besides video games, working as the producer and podcast cohost of the popular Talking Simpsons and What a Cartoon podcasts.